The Orchard, Archerfield Walled Garden!

It’s been quiet at the apiary with the occasional addition of an extra bag of fondant. All the hives have bedded down for winter and, other than a varroa treatment, there shouldn’t be much happening until Spring.

However, today was an exciting day! As some of you will know, I’ve been looking forward to moving some hives to their new site. I’m delighted to announce that Princess Leia in Hive 11, Daisy in Hive 12 and Rose in Hive 13 are now residing in The Orchard at Archerfield Walled Garden.

Moving hives has a degree of risk but, having cancelled last weeks scheduled move because I was worried that the journey would jiggle them out of their cluster and, at 0 degrees, that could potentially kill them, today was a balmy 11 degrees and perfect. We sealed the hives at about 3pm yesterday so that no bees would come out today prior to the move, and moved them without incident. It’s amazing what you can fit into a Leaf!

I was hoping to leave them sealed to allow them to settle but the bees in Hive 12 had managed to find a tiny hole and, as we took them out the car, a few were filing out to investigate so I removed their foam seal and let them fly. The other two hive entrances will be opened tomorrow. Hopefully the move hasn’t traumatised them too much, they’ll settle into their cluster overnight and, if they fly tomorrow, they’ll re-orientate themselves without difficulty.

I’m thrilled that Archerfield Walled Garden has been so welcoming and a huge thank you to Elly Douglas Hamilton for agreeing to have resident bees, Ross for making it all happen and Erica, Kerry and the gardening team for all their hard work clearing the site beautifully and making sure the bees have enough light. I am very grateful. As always, a big thank you to Stuart for all his help and support.

Fingers crossed for a quiet winter, an expanding spring and a productive summer but, bees will be bees, so anything is possible!



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